"Mr. Thornton to Earl Russell.—(Received December 2.)
My Lord, Rio de Janeiro, November 2, 1865.
GENERAL [W.W.W.] WOOD, of the late so-called Confederate States, has lately arrived here, and has made to the Brazilian Government some proposal, with the exact nature of which I am not yet acquainted, with regard to immigration into this country from the Southern States of a number of families, to the amount of about 60,000 souls.
I have the honour to inclose copy of a letter addressed by the Minister of Agriculture to General Wood, and I chiefly trouble your Lordship with this letter for the purpose of bringing to your notice an extract from it, a translation of which is inclosed, in which the Minister of Agriculture declares that, in accordance with the laws of Brazil, no negroes, either slaves or free, can be admitted into the country; and that if, therefore, General Wood's countrymen who propose to come here should possess any slaves they must previously dispose of them. . .
Indeed, whatever may be the feeling of a few landed proprietors the interior, I understand that there is the greatest desire on the part of the Brazilian Government and authorities in general that no importation of negroes should take place.
General Wood has gone to the province of St. Pauls for the purpose of seeing whether any advantageous spots can be found there on which his countrymen can establish themselves.
I have, &c
(Signed) EDWD. THORNT"
Inclosurein No. 21. j
The Minister of Agriculture to General Wood-
AMONGST the property which they bring there is one which the Legislature does not permit to be imported, which is that represented by slaves, and I may further say that even the importation of free Africans is prohibited by law. If, therefore, any of the immigrants possess property of that nature, they ought to dispose of them. I will not say by this however, that once they are amongst us, they may employ their capital in that manner; unfortunately we still have slaves, and that trade is permitted in the Empire,, from one province to another.
BRAZIL. (Consular')—' Bahia.
I have found reference to the theory that the immigration of ex-Confederates to Brazil helped with the final elimination of slavery in that country in 1888. There are references to the effect that only four ex-Confederates ever owned slaves in Brazil.